Would the Edmonton Oilers be a better team right now with Jarret Stoll, Matt Greene and Dustin Penner than with the players they got for them? The Los Angeles Kings, for the time being at least, most certainly are.

Hindsight being what it is and armchair GMs being what they are, I’m guessing a few Oilers fans watching the Kings roll into the Western Conference final against the Phoenix Coyotes have taken note of the roles Stoll, Greene and Penner have played in the post-season. Wouldn’t they come in handy around here right about now?

Well, maybe. Maybe not. But it’s certainly a fair question to ponder with the benefit of hindsight. Whether you liked what the Oilers got in the trades that sent that trio out of town at the time, second-guessing really is the life-blood of websites like this one, no?

Stoll and Greene, both 28, were dealt to the Kings June 29, 2008 for Lubomir Visnovsky. On March 30, 2010, the Oilers traded Visnovsky to Anaheim for Ryan Whitney and a sixth-round pick that turned into Brandon Davidson.

Last February, the Oilers dealt the enigmatic Penner to the Kings for former first-rounder Colten Teubert, a first-round pick in 2011 they used to take Swede Oscar Klefbom 19th overall and a conditional draft pick this June.

So, Stoll, Greene and Penner for Whitney and his wonky ankle, Teubert and his broken face and three maybes named Klefbom, Davidson and TBA. Did the Oilers blow it?


The answer, of course, is we don’t know who got the better of the deal in the long-term because we don’t know if Whitney can overcome his ankle issues and return to the form he showed at the start of the 2010-11 season. Likewise, we can’t say for certain what the Oilers have in Teubert, Davidson and the promising Klefbom.

What we can say with some certainty is the trades have worked out just fine for the Kings in the here and now as Stoll, Greene and Penner are all playing significant roles for Los Angeles in the playoffs.

If the Oilers had kept Stoll would they have had to sign Eric Belanger to get the third-line centre who could win face-offs they coveted? Probably not, but while we’re second-guessing, let’s not forget Stoll, who won draws at a 55 per cent clip this season, was coming off some serious concussion issues when he was traded.

Greene, who logged an average of 16:40 in ice time a night as a stay-at-home anchor with the Kings, remains a ham-and-egger, but he plays the kind of mean-as-hell homebody role the Oilers have since tried Jason Strudwick, Jim Vandermeer, Theo Peckham and Andy Sutton, to name just four, in since he left for Tinseltown.

Penner? He had a brutal regular season while struggling with some personal off-ice issues, managing just 7-10-17 in 65 games, but he’s pushed aside the pancakes and been money in the playoffs with seven points in nine games after looking like he was destined for clean-up duty with the El Cid Lounge. I can live without the crazy swings in Penner’s play – I wasn’t unhappy to see him traded – but, mercy, the man can play when he feels like it.

A centre who can win face-offs. A big winger who can score. A stay-at-home defenseman who punishes opposing forwards. If only the Oilers had three guys like that . . .

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Well, I’d consider re-signing Penner this off-season, just to give the Oilers another productive, two-way winger. He may not be particularly consistent, but if you don’t need him to be more than a second/third line winger, he doesn’t have to play.

    I wouldn’t have dealt him at the 2011 deadline, but in retrospect, is it such a bad deal to get a player who seems on track to make it as a bottom pairing defenceman, a first rounder, and another pick for the worst season and a quarter of Penner’s career? Not overly so, I think.

  • striker777

    Size-Penner, faceoffs-Stoll, and toughness-Greene are all things Edmonton desperately needs. But we also need puck-moving D, as well as sandpaper. Losing one quality, while acquiring another is something that separates a good GM from a great GM. It’s definitely not an easy task.

  • Mitch

    At the time of the trade I thought it was a good trade, but if a person could have a do over you wouldn’t make the deals. You can’t replace character Matt Greene brings that consistently.

    Over looking all the moves the worst moves the oilers made were signing Penner as well as Souray. The team was trending down and should have started the rebuild at the point of the Pronger trade. The Stanley Cup final gave them reason to feel that had a great team.

    Looking back they had a bad mix and just added more bad mix. We can hope leasons were learnt because the owner believes in his hockey people.

    • Talk to EIG. EIG wanted to fire Lowe if he didn’t improve the team. EIG is the reason Lowe tendered the OS to Penner and Vanek as well as signing the jackass Souray.

      If you saw “Oil Change”, Lowe said if he could do it again, he’d start the rebuild after Pronger the idiot wanted out.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Kevin Lowe and Steve Tambellini have done enough to embarrass this organization and city.Handing out dvds of West Edmonton Mall to lure pompous jerks should have been the final straw. Seriously someone tell Katz to stop being an Oilers fan and clean house.

    • Edmonton hater. I’m getting fed up of people criticizing Lowe and Tambellini 24/7. They got criticized the last 2 years for who they drafted at #1. Fans wanted the team to draft anyone but the players that got drafted. It doesn’t matter what the Oilers do, they’ll get criticized for it. There’s just too much Oilers hatred going on.

      Fans want to play GM and when they don’t get their way, they start bashing Lowe and calling him the worst GM in pro sports history, even though he isn’t even the GM

      It’s the same with people criticizing the Oilers because they haven’t yet said if Renney will be coach or not.

    • Wanyes bastard child

      I actually agree with you on this one for a change. You can argue that all three are support players with the possible exception of Penners play in the playoffs. Does anyone think that the Kings are doing this well just because of those three? They help for sure but I don’t think they are the major reason the Kings are doing so well.

      I’d look at the additions of Richards and Carter as being a contributing factor for their success, Sutter as well though it pains me to say it…

      And I know you left Fraser out of it Robin but I think he does contribute to a part of the Kings success as well. If it were not for the Smyth/Fraser trade the Kings would not have been able to afford Richards and Carter no?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I think the trades were good solid trades at the time. Not sure Visnofskys issues, personal or didnt want to play second fiddle to Souray? Whitney was a good choice[ it seemed],someone forgot to check his wheels. Belanger was to replace Stoll, we know how that turned out.I would not consider taking on these three guys again.They are all overpaid for starters.Stoll @ $3.5 mil = 21 pts and good at face offs, thats it.Greene, decent stay at home guy[ his salary is ok], but a guy like Peckham was to replace him? Penner, I think the best deal Tambelini made as a Oiler GM , was to get rid of this slug.
    Drove me crazy watching this lug play. First he couldnt keep up on the breakouts, and was winded after one len. of the ice, and barely makes it back to the box. all that for $4.5million. I hoped he save a good junk of it, he’ll never see that salary again. Yes, hes played Ok in the play offs, but thats because he came to the realization, he’s out of a deal on July 1.st,, playing for his next contract, He’ll go back to his old ways when he signs.[ if he does]

  • Chris.

    Hockeywise, on paper, the Visnovsky deal wasn’t so terrible… what screwed the works is the simple fact that Lubo never ever wanted to play in Edmonton in the first place. (Was there a fatal lack of due diligence?) Similarly, I thought Howson made an okay hockey trade to secure Jeff Carter from the Flyers…

    Unfortunately, most trades are either a success or a failure based on human elements that may have little to do with a roster fit. I wonder how much the proliferation of no movement clauses has actually helped the Oilers avoid more of these terrible circumstances.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Stoll has played a 3rd line role for most his time in LA, Greene is playing a bottom pairing role. Not our fault Lubo wanted out. You make that trade every day.

    They are missed pieces alright, but they shouldn’t have been pieces that we should’ve had problems replacing. Would we be better suiting with their combined 11mil worth of cap space? I don’t think so. I’d love all 3 back, but not at current price tags.

    As for the SUV hitting Greene, I thought that was Commodore?

  • I really wasnt impressed right after the trade, I think I’ve been pretty consistent about that.

    I know Visnovsky didnt like his time here, but I wouldnt either if I had Pat Quinn as my coach and the man was telling me to change the way I play all the time.

  • Wax Man Riley

    I liked the Whitney trade when it was made. Bigger, younger, and cheaper, and it looked amazing after his first 35 games….

    …now I see the trade as a loss. Not having him in the lineup does nothing for the Oil.

  • I would have traded Stoll and Greene every day of the week, during games, and on their birthdays for Visnovsky.

    What a horrible mistake it was to let that guy go for Ankles Whitney.

    I wouldnt mind Penner too, but if Klefbom can become a regular then all is well I guess. And Penner is a UFA, maybe the Oilers do something crazy like offer him a contract anyway.

  • PrimeBane

    Good deals now… but at the time the future was uncertain for Stoll if he’d recover from concussion and Greene was a penalty machine.

    Lubo could have been great if he’d wanted to be in Edmonton.

    The Oilers just got dealt a bad hand all around on that particular deal.

  • I would make the Stoll/Greene for Vishnovsky any day of the week.

    It’s like Gregor always says, the guy who gets the best player wins the trade.

    What I wouldn’t do is hire one of the few guys in hockey that didn’t like his game as the new head coach.

    I miss Stoll and Greene and would be happy if either of them came back but I have to admit that I actually thought the Oilers managed to pull one over on the Kings considering the question marks surrounding Stoll’s noggin at the time they made the deal. Boy was I wrong.

  • RexLibris

    Of course, were the Oil interested, they could take stabs at resigning two of those three guys. Not that they will, but they could. Tambo will be very busy with his continuing evaluation of the coaching staff on July 1.

    • Stocc

      I’d swear he made some hilarious comment afterwards about only feeling “a little stiff” afterwards.

      Edit: There’s an article on the story by some guy named Robin Brownlee.

      “The car got totalled,” smiled Greene, who fared considerably better than the Jeep Cherokee that mowed him down. “It’s fine. I’m OK. The police are looking into it. I’m not worried about it.”

      “That’s the hardest hit I’ve taken in awhile,” deadpanned Greene, who expects to be ready to play against the St. Louis Blues tomorrow. “I’m sore. My lower body is sore. I got hit by a truck.”

  • Bucknuck

    I sure hope whitney gets up to his previous form. The man is such a great player.

    I was worried when I heard him talking about “losing a step” and playing appropriately. I hope he doesn’t become a self fulfilling prophecy. He’s still young.